Due to allegations of privacy violations and unauthorized charges, Epic Games will pay $540 million

The creator of the popular online shooter Fortnite, Epic Games, has agreed to settle claims made by the Federal Trade Commission by paying a total of $540 million (FTC).

The FTC announced in a post on its website that the developer will pay a $275 million fine for breaking the law protecting the privacy of children as well as $245 million in refunds for deceiving consumers into making unauthorized transactions.

According to the FTC, Epic Games “used design techniques, known as dark patterns” to trick millions of players into making unintentional purchases. According to Wikipedia, dark patterns are “user interfaces that have been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things, such as buying overpriced insurance with their purchase or signing up for recurring bills.” The developer was hit with the biggest fine ever received for breaking an FTC rule, and Epic Games has been ordered to “implement robust privacy default settings for children and teens, ensuring that voice and text communications are turned off by default” as a result of the penalty.

Specifically speaking about the reimbursements, “Epic will pay $245 million to repay consumers for its shady patterns and billing methods, which is the FTC’s largest administrative order in history and its largest refund amount in a gaming matter.”

Regarding the settlement, FTC Chair Lina M. Khan made the following remarks:

“As our complaints note, Epic used privacy-invasive default settings and deceptive interfaces that tricked Fortnite users, including teenagers and children. Protecting the public, and especially children, from online privacy invasions and dark patterns is a top priority for the Commission, and these enforcement actions make clear to businesses that the FTC is cracking down on these unlawful practices.”

What do you think of the FTC’s decision to take action against Epic Games? Do you agree that the game’s designer incorporated “dark patterns”? Inform us.